Early research suggests that a commonly available research compound may shrink tumours in rats.

It seems that patients are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to buy a water-soluble powder from chemical suppliers, called dicloroacetate or DCA without any evidence that it works in humans, based on reputable randomised clinical trials.

Apparently, they have even been giving each other advice over the Internet on how to mix the ingredients, discussing how strong doses should be or how to convince their doctors to come on board.

Phase I trials for DCA are due to start in Canada within the next two months on a variety of advanced cancers – LINK.

Further information can be found in the Edmonton Journal.

Meanwhile, the plot thickens after a pharmacist was asked to stop providing cancer patients with off-label DCA following pressure from Health Canada – LINK.

The challenge, though, is that cancer is much more complex than many people realise and efficacy in rats may not necessarily translate to success in humans for a number of reasons, which were eloquently described recently in this blog.

Caveat emptor.